Weddings & Socks

This weekend was another great one for shopping and finding deals. I scored all the glassware for the table decorations at The Christmas Tree Shoppe down in York (I really, really wish we had one up here). Everything was only $22. Score!! We’ve had about 10 different ideas for centerpieces but finally decided on colored hurricane’s sitting on an octagonal mirror. The hurricane will have a white votive inside with a cream ribbon around the outside. There will be two tea-lights sitting on the mirror with iridescent gems to play off the light. The tea-lights are from PartyLite and will be in the opposite colors of the hurricane, e.g. if the hurricane is pink, the tea-lights will be green and orange. The dessert table will have a colored glass bottles with a single gerbera daisy and stem of willows. The bottles will also sit on the mirror with the gems. It’s going to be fantastically beautiful! Here’s what the glassware looks like:

Centerpiece glassware

Dessert table glassware

My plan this week is to start working on the boutonniere’s. I purchased all the flowers earlier this month and now just have to start putting them together. I just have to say again that I LOVE sales! I am so thankful that God has given me the gift of being able to do these things myself.

I finished my first pair of toe-up socks and they turned out beautifully!! They are so soft and the first pair I’ve ever made that actually fit. I’ve been wearing them all day and still have no complaints. The yarn is an amazingly beautiful colorway and incredibly soft.

The next pair I’m starting will be with Plymouth Yarn’s Happy Feet. This yarn is incredibly soft (even more so than my last pair).

I’m making the I-Heart Toe-Up Socks by Wendy Johnson in her book Socks from the Toe-up. I’m going to wear them with ballet slippers for the wedding ;-)

The next two projects I’m starting are my garter and my FBIL’s cross-stitch project. I haven’t decided on a pattern yet for this but I do know that I want to make something lacy and blue. (That’ll take care of the blue part of the tradition.) I found a couple of great patterns on Ravelry, so now I just have to pick one.

I started Matt’s cross-stitch project last night. Oh wow did I not realize how small 18-count Aida cloth is!! I’ve only ever worked with 14-count. Okay, so I know you’re thinking um, it’s not that big of a difference number wise. Um, yeah. It’s like the difference between a peanut M&M and regular M&M. The peanut ones are just so much bigger because of the peanut right? Well, 14-count cloth is bigger than 18-count cloth (I never understood why it is the larger the number the smaller the holes???). I think this will be the first and last project I do on 18-count cloth. Either that, or I’ll have to get magnifying glasses of some sort! So anyway, I got the pattern put together last night (6 pages all 8 1/2″ x 11″). Right now, it’s huge and not very manageable since when starting, we always start from the center and work our way out. This is definitely going to be a challenging piece. The stitches are all straightforward so that’ll be simple but the color work is incredibly detailed. I’ve honestly never tackled a cross-stitch project with this much detail. The pattern is 220 stitches wide by 159 stitch high. That in and of itself isn’t that many but there’s over 70 different colors in this piece! (Click here for the picture.) I’m definitely excited about the challenge though. I’ll periodically update with progress pictures.

Once the wedding is over, I really want to start designing my own sock patterns. I love socks. I have more skeins of sock yarn than anything else. I really believe that’s because when I go into a store I immediately gravitate towards yarn. I’ll look at all the other kinds of yarn but let’s face it, you can’t just pick up a skein or two or three without some semblance of an idea for a project in your head. Sock yarn, however, you can. Plus, I find myself drawn into all the fun and beautiful colorways of sock yarn. If you tried to knit a cardigan or sweater out of the same type of colorways, people would probably look at you like you’re from Mars. Socks are great though because they’re so easily portable. The needles are small as are most of the skeins so it’s an easy project to shove in your purse. Although, I highly recommend not shoving them in your purse, especially if you have bamboo needles–learned my lesson on that one!

I’ve been knitting for about 3 1/2 years and it just amazes me at the progress I’ve made. I’ve always been one to pick up crafty things pretty quickly, but I’m just astounded by the progress with learning new skills. As soon as I learned to knit and made my first 2 scarves, I immediately wanted to learn to knit cables and socks. I seriously remember being terrified about making Andy’s Steelers Scarf because of the cable work. I was thinking that cables looked so cool and just had to be so difficult because let’s face it–if it’s cute, it’s probably difficult to make. But no. After I was shown how to do it, I fell in love. I think cables are probably one of my favorite things to knit because they’re so easy yet add beautiful quality and texture to a knitted project. Okay, that’s enough nostalgia for one day. Let’s move on to reviews…

I got the newest issue of Knit Simple (Spring/Summer 2011) which I was totally stoked for when I pulled it out of the mailbox. I really love this magazine. It definitely ranks in my top 2 because there hasn’t been one single issue that has disappointed me, until now. Page turn after page turn I was thinking Really? Really? Who would wear this stuff?! Most of the magazine is geared towards sailor-ish type wear. All in all there’s about two patterns I would contemplate making but even those are not rushing to be added to my queue. Very, very disappointing.

Well, this is getting pretty lengthy so I’m signing off for now. Until next time, much love and many knitting blessings!

♥Courtney♥

The Back Burner

As I’m sitting here writing this, I realized that in the past few months my knitting and crafting have really taken the back burner. I seem to be so overwhelmed with other things to do that I never quite get around to doing my hobby things. I’ve had a little more success with this the past few weeks though. I just started my first ever pair of toe-up socks. They were featured on Knitty Gritty (if you click on the link it’ll take you to the pattern) and the minute I saw them, I fell in love. I knew the exact yarn I was going to use and couldn’t wait to start. I’ve since finished the first sock and it fits perfectly! I started with size 4 DPN’s but after completing the toe, found that it was too large. So I went on a man-hunt to find size 3 lace circs. I purchased a pair of Addi Turbo Laces (totally love these babies) and zoom I went. My knitting flew off my needles! :-) Here’s a picture of the finished one:

So pretty and it’s the first sock to EVER fit properly! Woohoo! I just finished the toe and am about 1/2 way finished the foot of the second sock. I love that this yarn is thicker because I am seriously flying with these. Talk about instant gratification!

The other endeavor I’ve been working on is making my bouquets for the wedding at the end of May. Since it’s National Craft Month, many of the craft stores have been having killer sales. I picked up all the flowers for the ceremony at half-price. Score! My hot glue gun has become my new best friend. :-) Here’s what I have so far:

Bridesmaids bouquet #1

 

Bridesmaids bouquet #2
My bouquet
Top view

It didn’t take me nearly as long to do these as I thought it would. I was really happy with how they turned out. I also started working on the favors. Since there’s so many, I’m working on a few a day so they’ll get done in time but I won’t feel so overwhelmed. The next project is working on the men’s boutonniere’s. I’ve never done that before but it can’t be all that different from the bouquets…Right?? I’ll let you know how that turns out. The only other “crafty” thing I’ve done is buy a lined basket (so really not me being crafty) to organize my living room stash (notice I said living room… there’s still 2 under the bed storage containers and another huge Rubbermaid container in the garage full of stash!). I love that lined baskets are pretty yet functional. Well, I’m 20 minutes over due for prospect calls so until next time, much love and happy knitting!

 

♥Courtney♥

It’s finished!!

So the blanket is finished! Woohoo! I’m so excited for this to be finished. I really enjoyed knitting it (my first knitted blanket) but now that it’s finished, I can start on my socks! (I’ll get into that in a minute.) Here’s the final product:

This seriously came out beautifully! I’m very pleased with the results!

On to my next endeavor… I’m going to be doing Cookie A’s Toe-Up Sock as featured on Knitty Gritty. I have been so excited and wanting to cast-on since I first saw the episode back in December. I promised myself that I wouldn’t though until Ellie’s Christmas present and Amanda’s baby blanket were both finished. Both are so now it’s time! I’ll periodically post updates on here with my progress. Right now, I’m about to go cast on! Until next time… much love and many blessings!!

♥Courtney♥

Hugs & Kisses Dishcloth

Hugs & Kisses Dishcloth

 by CKramerDesigns

Materials:

1 skein Lily Sugar n’ Cream

Size 7 (4.5 mm) straight needles

Measurements:

9” x 7” blocked

Instructions:

CO 36 st.

Rows 1-4: k1, p1 across.

Row 5: (k1, p1) 2 times, k28, (k1, p1) 2 times.

Row 6: (p1, k1) 2 times, p 28, (p1, k1) 2 times.

Row 7: (k1, p1) 2 times, k3, p1, k20, p1, k3, (k1, p1) 2 times.

Row 8: (p1, k1) 2 times, p2, k3, p18, k3, p2, (p1, k1) 2 times.

Row 9: (k1, p1) 2 times, k1, p5, k16, p5, k1, (k1, p1) 2 times.

Row 10: (p1, k1) 2 times, k7, p14, k7, (p1, k1) 2 times.

Row 11: (k1, p1) 2 times, p7, k14, p7, (k1, p1) 2 times.

Row 12: (p1, k1) 2 times, (p1, k2) 2 times, p16, (k2, p1) 2 times, (p1, k1) 2 times.

Row 13: (k1, p1) 2 times, k28, (k1, p1) 2 times.

Row 14: (p1, k1) 2 times, (p4, k2) 2 times, p5, k4, p7, (p1, k1) 2 times.

Row 15: (k1, p1) 2 times, k5, p8, k3, (p2, k4) 2 times, (k1, p1) 2 times.

Row 16: (p1, k1) 2 times, p4, k3, p2, k3, p3, k2, p4, k2, p5, (p1, k1) 2 times.

Row 17: (k1, p1) 2 times, k5, p2, k4, p2, k3, p3, k2, p3, k4, (k1, p1) 2 times.

Row 18: (p1, k1) 2 times, p5, k6, (p4, k2) 2 times, p5, (p1, k1) 2 times.

Row 19: (k1, p1) 2 times, k5, (p2, k4) 2 times, p6, k5, (k1, p1) 2 times.

Row 20: (p1, k1) 2 times, p6, k4, p5, k2, p4, k2, p5, (p1, k1) 2 times.

Row 21: (k1, p1) 2 times, k5, p2, k4, p2, k6, p2, k7, (k1, p1) 2 times.

Row 22: (p1, k1) 2 times, p7, k2, p6, k2, p4, k2, p5, (p1, k1) 2 times.

Row 23: (k1, p1) 2 times, k5, p2, k4, p2, k5, p4, k6, (k1, p1) 2 times.

Row 24: (p1, k1) 2 times, p5, k6, (p4, k2) 2 times, p5, (p1, k1) 2 times.

Row 25: (k1, p1) 2 times, k5, (p2, k4) 2 times, p6, k5, (k1, p1) 2 times.

Row 26: (p1, k1) 2 times, p4, k3, p2, k3, p3, k2, p4, k2, p5, (p1, k1) 2 times.

Row 27: (k1, p1) 2 times, k5, p2, k4, p2, k3, p3, k2, p3, k4, (k1, p1) 2 times.

Row 28: (p1, k1) 2 times, (p4, k2) 2 times, p3, k8, p5, (p1, k1) 2 times.

Row 29: (k1, p1) 2 times, k7, p4, k5, (p2, k4) 2 times, (k1, p1) 2 times.

Row 30: (p1, k1) 2 times, p28, (p1, k1) 2 times.

Row 31: (k1, p1) 2 times, k3, p1, k20, p1, k3, (k1, p1) 2 times.

Row 32: (p1, k1) 2 times, p2, k3, p18, k3, p2, (p1, k1) 2 times.

Row 33: (k1, p1) 2 times, k1, p5, k16, p5, k1, (k1, p1) 2 times.

Row 34: (p1, k1) 2 times, k7, p14, k7, (p1, k1) 2 times.

Row 35: (k1, p1) 2 times, p7, k14, p7, (k1, p1) 2 times.

Row 36: (p1, k1) 2 times, (p1, k2) 2 times, p16, (k2, p1) 2 times, (p1, k1) 2 times.

Row 37: (k1, p1) 2 times, k28, (k1, p1) 2 times.

Row 38: (p1, k1) 2 times, p28, (p1, k1) 2 times.

Row 39-42: k1, p1 across.

BO all stitches and block if desired.

©2011 Courtney L. Kramer for CKramerDesigns